Speaking with the Morning Joe team on MSNBC, de Blasio pointed to high vaccination rates in NYC as having inspired this decision.
“Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July 1,” he said. “We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open. Offices, theaters. Full strength. Because, look, what we’re seeing is people have gotten vaccinated in extraordinary numbers. 6.3 million vaccinations in New York City to date. We’re doing a lot to reach people at the grassroots.”
Moving forward, de Blasio added, the focus will remain on continuing to boost vaccine numbers.
“We know the vaccination effort is going to grow and grow,” said de Blasio, who has been mayor since 2014. “We gotta keep working hard at that, but what’s amazing is every single day we’re beating back COVID more and more. Hospitalizations down. You know, we’re just seeing a better situation every day. We’re ready to take that pathway to a full reopening.”
Asked about what sort of thresholds the city would need to meet in order to reach the July 1 goal, de Blasio reemphasized the importance of ensuring as many people as possible are vaccinated. While there is “work to do,” de Blasio said, citizens can help push toward the July 1 goal by simply getting vaccinated.
“Help us out by going out and getting vaccinated if you haven’t already,” he said. “And it’s free and it’s all over the city and now we’re doing walk-ups at sites all over the city.”
In de Blasio’s words, this summer “is going to be the summer of New York City.”
The mayor’s announcement of a planned summer 2021 reopening comes just days after the CDC unveiled updated guidance on masks. And on Wednesday night, President Biden used his first address to Congress to share an optimistic message about working toward a post-pandemic reality.
“I can report to the nation: America is on the move again,” Biden said. “Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength.”
But all of this only works out if we get vaccinated. If you haven’t already done so, grab yourself an appointment here.